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Kazakh Opposition Activists Send Petition To Obama

Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev invited his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama to Astana during their meeting on April 11.
ALMATY -- Opposition activists and independent journalists gave a petition to the U.S. Consulate in Almaty today urging President Barack Obama to reject Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev's invitation to attend an Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) summit in Astana, RFE/RL's Kazakh Service reports.

During a meeting with Obama in Washington on April 11, Nazarbaev invited Obama to the summit planned for later this year. The last such summit of heads of OSCE member states was held in Istanbul in 1999.

The petition urges Obama to oppose Nazarbaev's proposal.

Tatyana Trubacheva, the chief editor of the weekly "Respublika," told RFE/RL that Kazakhstan's chairmanship of the OSCE is questionable in light of its suppression of free speech.

Representatives of Kazakhstan's nonregistered opposition Algha (Forward) party and the opposition newspaper "Vzglyad" (Glance) were also present at the handing of the petition to a consular official.

Kazakhstan took over the year-long OSCE chairmanship from Greece in January.